StepStone Invests in HRI Hotel Expansion

Robert W. Baird & Co. served as financial advisor to the New Orleans-based hospitality company.
Tom Leonhard, CEO of HRI Properties
Tom Leonhard, CEO of HRI Properties

New York and New Orleans—StepStone Real Estate is investing up to $87.5 million in New Orleans-based HRI Properties to help continue its expanding portfolio of hotel, multifamily and mixed-use projects in major urban U.S. markets.

“HRI’s management team, portfolio and track record are best in class, and we’re excited to participate in their ongoing growth,” Brendan MacDonald, a StepStone partner and founder, said in a prepared statement.

The announcement comes several weeks after StepStone, a New York-based private real estate investment firm, closed StepStone Real Estate Partners III, its latest fund with $700 million in capital commitments. Combined with co-investent capital, the fund will have more than $1.1 billion to invest in the United States and Europe. The fund has a global investor base consisting of pension funds, foundations, insurance companies, funds of funds, family offices and high net worth individuals. Investments will be made across product types including office, industrial, senior housing, student housing, hotels and multifamily properties. StepStone, founded by partners Jeff Giller, Josh Cleveland and MacDonald, is part of StepStone Group, a leading private markets firm that oversees about $100 billion of private capital allocations, including $28 billion of assets under management.

The StepStone investment follows previous rounds of growth capital funded by Almanac Realty Investors in 2014 and 2016 for HRI, a real estate company that develops, acquires, owns and manages premium branded and independent hotels, upscale apartments and mixed-use properties in major urban U.S. markets. HRI also specializes in urban in-fill projects and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. In August, HRI completed the redevelopment of the historic Plymouth Building into the Embassy Suites Minneapolis Downtown, a 290-key hotel. HRI also owns and operates the property located in the former office building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“StepStone’s investment will fund HRI’s ongoing growth through acquisition, development and redevelopment of urban projects,” HRI CEO Tom Leonhard said in a prepared statement.

HRI and its affiliates have completed more than 82 large-scale developments in 12 states totaling more than $2 billion in costs. Current projects under construction include Hyatt Unbound in Nashville, Homewood Suites in New Orleans and Aloft in Philadelphia. The company owns and operates a portfolio with over 3,000 hotel rooms, 1,500 apartment units and 165,000 square feet of commercial space. HRI also provides third-party hotel and apartment management services through its subsidiaries HRI Lodging and HRI Management to 13 hotels and 31 multifamily properties.

Robert W. Baird & Co. served as financial advisor to HRI in the transaction.